We’ve crossed the tournament’s halfway point and are now at round 7 of 11. Amazingly there are a few players still unbeaten. The match-ups are still as exciting as they were in the first rounds of the tournament.
Be sure to check out our prior coverage of the event:
Also, be sure to check out our Olympiad course, featuring tactics and a breakdown of each day’s most important happenings, exclusive for Chessable Pro members.
Day 7 started off wonderfully with two very special guests in the Chessable booth. First up, Judit Polgar herself dropped by to do an exclusive interview!
And then the youngest participant in the tournament, 8 year old Randa Sedar from Palestine came along to receive a special gift – her very own Able!
Norway’s “demotion” to the 2nd hall didn’t stop Magnus Carlsen from turning up and winning an important game – but he better keep those bananas away from Able!
Chess is serious business!
We ended the day by interviewing two of our favourite authors and our new Jamaican friend!
Amro El Jawach & Teymur Kuybokarov & Ras Malaku Lorne.
What happened in the games?
Small but potent Armenia is leading the pack after Round 7, and their matchup against the number-1 seeds the USA was the highlight of this round.
Each game in the matchup was decisive, i,e. there were no draws, only wins and losses. One had a fair bit of a dramatic ending as well.
Uzbekistan has also been climbing the ratings, followed by India 2, India, and the USA.
We are still seeing a fair amount of upsets too, as Kazakhstan beat seed no. 4 Spain.
These were the standings after Round 7:
The USA-Armenia match all boiled down to the match between Sam Shankland and Robert Hovhannisyan.
Shankland appeared not to be able to win the match, but then the tables turned with Hovhannisyan got into time pressure, and suddenly fortune changed for Shanklandd.
However, with four seconds left on the clock, Shankland had expected a check from Hovhannisyan’s queen; however, in the following position, Hovhannisyan played 90…Qg2 and because Shankland had touched his king, he had to move it, which lost instantly due to 91.Kc1 Qb2+!.
So’s smooth tactic
In another match from the USA-Armenia match, Wesley So played a daring move which will be featured in tactics books for years to come.
The move was 18.Bh6. Had Black played 18…Bf8!, Black is better, but So’s opponent, Hrant Melkumyan played 18…e4? which was losing.
18…e4 appears to fork the queen and the rook, but White had 19.Rxe4! Black’s only reply to not give up a key central pawn is 19…dxe4, which loses to 20.Qxf7+!, and it is a forced mate-in-six.
Gukesh gets a 7th straight win
The 16-year-old Gukesh D has been the player has been the player to watch out for in the tournament, and he did not disappoint in the seventh round, claiming a seventh straight victory over Carlos Daniel Albornoz Cabrera of Cuba.
He is now rated 25 in the world in the live ratings.
45…Bf4! A brilliant move by Gukesh.
The only thing for White to do is to accept the sacrifice 46.gxf4, but Albornoz resigned here. After 46…gxf4, White’s rook can no longer defend the c3-pawn, and the position collapses.
Carlsen on 5.5/6
The world champion and no.1 rated player is not having a bad tournament either. After Round 7, he was on 5.5 points out of 6.
Carlsen promoted on the next move, but his opponent, Zvonko Stanojoski of North Macedonia played on for 15 moves a queen down before losing the game against Carlsen.